Natural Sunscreen – Essential for Young Athletes!

Natural Sunscreen - Essential for Young Athletes

Over the summer months, we have been testing out a couple of natural sunscreen products – an essential item for young athletes! With training and racing, athletes are out in the sun regularly so it is extremely important to ensure they are well protected from harmful UV rays, which are not only evident in the summer but all year round.

In thinking about the best products to use, we obviously need to look at their effectiveness in their protection against skin cancer and ageing, but also consider how they may impact our health once absorbed into our bodies. Keeping this in mind, we searched for quality products that were made from natural ingredients only.

Natural sunscreens

Did you know that many sunscreens on the market are not effective in providing the sun protection they claim and many also contain harmful ingredients? Surprisingly, many of the key culprits are actually well known and are also the popular brands! Some even highlight in their marketing, claims that the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Sunscreen Guide contradicts to be true in their EWG Hall of Shame report. (Since this post was published, this report has been taken offline, but you can refer to the latest EWG Sunscreen Report and the EWG’s Worst-Scoring Sunscreens for kids).

Top tips from the EWG

The EWG is a non-profit, environmental organisation based in the USA that specialises in research “to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment.” Here are some top tips from the EWG in relation to sunscreen:

Just say no:

  • SPF above 50
  • Retinyl palmitate
  • Aerosol spray and powder sunscreen
  • Oxybenzone
  • Added insect repellent

Say yes to:

  • Hats and shade in mid-day sun
  • Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide as active ingredients, otherwise Avobenzone (at 3%)
  • SPF 15 to 50, depending on your own skin coloration, time outside, shade and cloud cover.
  • Use a lot and reapply frequently

For babies and young children:

  • Infants under 6 months don’t belong in the sun and they shouldn’t wear sunscreen. For older babies and children, use protective clothing and sunscreen that provides good UVA and UVB protection. Use enough and reapply often.

For tweens and teens:

  • Be sun smart! Sunburns in children and teens increase your risk of the most deadly form of skin cancer–melanoma.
  • Avoid tanning beds. Tanning booths expose the skin to 15 times more UV sun. The use of tanning beds before age 30 can cause a 75 percent increase in melanoma.

For men:

  • Wear sunscreen. Surveys show just 34 percent of men wear sun protection, compared to 78 percent of women. Chose a sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection and reapply often. See EWG’s annual sunscreen report for good choices.

You can find a list of ingredients to avoid in your skin care as recommended by the EWG here.

Sunscreen review

In our investigation, we looked at the EWG’s 2015 Guide to Sunscreens which identified the best sunscreens from over 1000 products, based on the ability to block out most of the UVA and UVB rays with active ingredients that do not break down in the sun, and with the use products that are completely safe for adults and children.You can find a full list of products the EWG suggests to avoid in your skin care products here.

UV Natural

From the many options on the EWG’s Best Beach & Sport Sunscreens list, we selected UV Natural as one of the highest rating sunscreens in terms of safety, for its competitive comparative pricing value, (both as rated by EWG) and as it is an Aussie product. (Since this post was published, UV Natural has not been again reviewed in the 2016 EWG Sunscreen Guide)

1. UV Natural Sunscreen 30+

SPF30+ Broad Spectrum
2 Hours Water Resistant

EWG rating of 1 (0-2 rating for low hazard)

• Overall this product scores well and is a top choice for sun protection.
• Based on our modelling this product provides EXCELLENT UVA protection and a GOOD balance of UVA protection in relation to the SPF.
• The ingredients in this product pose a LOW health concern.

Active + Nourished’s experience

This product was effective in its sun protection. Even though it is a “no scent” sunscreen, we did notice an unusual smell. It was not pleasant to all of us but it was only apparent on initial application and gone once applied. I did find that I got used to it though and didn’t notice it at all after regular use.

UV Natural Sunscreen

2. UV Natural Sunscreen Sport 30+

SPF 30+ Broad Spectrum
3 Hours water resistant

EWG rating of 1 (0-2 rating for low hazard)

• Overall this product scores well and is a top choice for sun protection.
• Based on our modeling this product provides EXCELLENT UVA protection and a GOOD balance of UVA protection in relation to the SPF.
• The ingredients in this product pose a LOW health concern.

Active + Nourished’s experience

This product was effective in its sun protection. This sunscreen smelt sooooo nice! From the list of ingredients, the only difference between the UV Natural Sunscreen Sport 30+ and the UV Natural Sunscreen 30+ is the addition of Australian sandalwood, lavender, and patchouli in this product. We preferred this sunscreen to the no sport version for preference of the scent and also an extra hour of water resistance. We did however, find this sunscreen a little greasy so not the best one for the face. A hot tip for this sunscreen is that it spreads really well so you do not need to apply liberally – just a small amount to adequately spread to cover the skin is all you need! (Our girls were not happy with Dad’s overload of sunscreen on their backs!)

We would purchase this product again.

UV Natural products are available for purchase at Nourished Life.*

Eco logical Face Sunscreen SPF 30+

We also tested Eco logical Face Sunscreen SPF 30+ as we found the UV Natural products a little too greasy for daily use on the face. This product was reviewed by the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database (in 2013) and was also commended with the highest rating.

EWG rating of 1 (0-2 rating for low hazard)

• However, we note that the Data rating was Limited. The “data availability” rating measures how much is known about an ingredient.
• Upon further investigation, we found that even though this was noted, there were no other cosmetic sunscreen products that rated higher – ie. with an EWG rating of 1 or lower and Data rating above Limited.

Active + Nourished’s experience

This product was effective in its sun protection. It also felt less greasy in its application to the face and still spread smoothly and easily. In fact, my fussy teen very much likes its matte look and dry feel. This translates to avoiding the oily face look – not good for young athletes! Once applied, it didn’t feel like there was sunscreen on at all. Another hot tip is to only apply a small amount otherwise you could end up with a white face! Once again, this is enough to spread for full face coverage.

We would purchase this product again.

Eco logical Face Sunscreen SPF 30+ is available for purchase at Nourished Life.*

Eco logical also have an all natural sunscreen for the body (also 30+) which will be one for us to test out next. You can find reviews of their other products at Nourished Life.

Don’t forget to “Slip, Slop, Slap!”

eco logical SPF 30+ Sunscreen

*Active + Nourished is a Nourished Life affiliate. This means that if you choose to purchase through this link we will receive a small commission from the sale. This is at no extra cost to you. This will assist in the development and maintenance of the Active + Nourished website.

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2 Replies to “Natural Sunscreen – Essential for Young Athletes!”

  1. Thank-you for bringing this information to the surface. We need to make better decisions on what we put on our skin to protect ourselves from UV damage, especially skin cancer! Everybody needs to read the ” hall of shame” report!

  2. Hi Martine, thank you for your comment. So glad you found this informative, not just for young athletes but important for the whole family when out in the sun.

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